Daily Thoughts

Hurricane Harvey

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Hurricane Harvey turned out to be that unwanted guest that you can’t wait to leave. He came in hot, and then lingered way too long. Normally, when Houston floods, there are some well known areas that get hit, but this time no location went unscathed.

This hurricane didn’t hit us head on, a lot of people say it was the hurricane, when in fact it was the rain that placed Houston underwater. We luckily live on some high ground which saved our home, but we were surrounded by water, making us feel like we were on an island. We couldn’t get out of our neighborhood. You may ask what does this have to do with health and eating right? Everything.

The storm hit Saturday morning and we couldn’t go anywhere until Wednesday morning when one exit out of the neighborhood finally became available. I watched the devastation, heroics and kindness of people who didn’t even live here as they brought their personal boats to rescue people.  It all felt so surreal, like it was happening to someone else, somewhere else.

We woke up Sunday morning to sirens, and diesel trucks passing by our house relentlessly.  After a couple of hours of strong storms, the rain subsided and we decided to see what we could. We passed so many trucks towing boats going the opposite direction and we wondered why there were so many going in the direction of our home. When we turned back around we saw that the bridge that crosses a nearby creek  was flooded like I had never seen before, and further down, the other bridge was flooded as well. Our daughter lives in a subdivision behind us, near where all of this water was going, so we decided to go check on her.

Just three streets behind hers, there was a police officer and several trucks with boats waiting in line for their turn to enter this raging river. The sight was so eerie and frightening, especially since I knew there were houses where the river had erased their rooftops, now no longer visible.

For months now I have been so good  with my eating habits. It’s true that I was at a plateau, but I was feeling stronger, and because of that I didn’t linger on that for too long. I have so many obstacles to jump over when it comes to the reasons why I eat too much, but I had mostly overcome them. Peer pressure eating, not wanting to waste food, bored eating and most of all stress eating. But how do you deal with the prolonged stress of this flood, not being able to do anything or go anywhere? I’m sad to say that I cheated more than once.

True, it was a hurricane induced catastrophic flood event, no one had expected that. It’s a perfectly valid excuse, but I don’t like making excuses for myself. One day we went to the grocery store and came home with a can of pringles chips, a snickers, the small reese’s peanut butter cups and Twix, We ate it ALL. Today is weigh in day and I haven’t weighed myself because I’m afraid of the damage I may have caused.

You would think, now that the storm has passed and we can actually see the sun, that the stress would have gone away, but it is still there existing in another form. Yesterday was my husband’s birthday and we managed to find a restaurant that was open, which was very fortunate. Later during the meal I found myself thinking, “Here I am eating a nice meal when so many others don’t even have a home left.” I felt so guilty. I wanted to ask the waiter how he did through the storm, but felt like that might be rude. He’s working when he may really need to be home helping his family. I’d bet that one in every five survivors we come across are going through something really bad as a result of Hurricane Harvey.

Today was the first day that Starbucks was open. There are three of them in the area and I drove by two before I spied people in the drive through at the last one. I always get an iced latte, which is just coffee and milk. I like it, and it’s one of the lowest calorie coffees you can get there. While waiting in line I looked back at the car behind me. The lady at the wheel looked even more stressed than I’ve been feeling. That’s when I thought about something I heard a long time ago. You never know what people around you may be going through, so treat them like you want to be treated. So I told my barista I wanted to pay for hers. I hope it helped. I like to do this anyway from time to time because once in awhile someone pays for mine and it makes my day and puts a smile on my face.

I’m doing better with the stress today. I bought a bacon, egg and cheese biscuit at McDonald’s this morning, wanting to find comfort in food, but by the time I got home I decided to reduce the 450 calories by only eating half of it. I have to remember to take and applaud one victory at a time. I was able to work out the past two days and I’m going to do it again today. There’s two more victories. I got this.

I’m so proud of Houston and to be able to call it my home. Please remember to think of others. If they are rude or on edge, remind yourself that they may be going through something that you are unaware of.

I apologize if this post seems off topic. How can I not talk about something that devastated our city. I also faced the ultimate stress eating test, and in the end I got back on track.

I also heard this on TV this morning. It goes something like this. “Be kind to those around you. You may be able to put your shoes on this morning, but you don’t know who will be taking them off tonight.”

Eat Well. Live well. Be a survivor, and prosper.

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BPPV Strikes Again

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Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) is to me what kryptonite is to Super Man.  A decade ago when I was training for the MS150 I fell off my bike and hit my head really hard. I spent the next 9 months trying to find a doctor that could cure the horrible spinning vertigo I was experiencing every time I looked up or bent down. And this isn’t just being off balance, this is the world is spinning and you can’t see anything dizziness. Needless to say it I didn’t get to do the MS150 that year, or the next. This website http://www.dizzyfix.com/bppv does an excellent job explaining what BPPV is.

After 9 months of seeing doctors, and trying things that didn’t work, I finally found a specialist who put me through a bunch of tests, and did a maneuver on me called the Epley Maneuver. The night of the maneuver I had to sleep with a neck brace sitting up, and then for two weeks I couldn’t bend over, look up, jump or run, or sleep on the “bad side”.  Surgery had a 50/50 chance of making me deaf without the guarantee of it never happening again. So over the years, BPPV has struck like a snake numerous times, so many times that I don’t go to the doctor anymore, I just flip myself (if you check out the Epley Maneuver you will know why I call it that)

The last time it happened was four years ago. I was feeling so good… until yesterday. I was on the mat doing my core workout and the world suddenly spun out of control. I realized, with tears in my eyes, that it was happening to me again. After four years! There was nothing else I could do but flip myself to ease some of the vertigo. This is very discouraging, especially because I’m not going to be able to follow through with the whole procedure after the flip (due to my extra workload at home) and it will affect my ability to do my workouts that have been SOOO helpful in my weight loss and building strength. I’ve lost 15 pounds do far! I’ve made so much progress and I keep asking myself, “Why Now?” But I refuse to give up. At least I know what to do.

With BPPV doing simple things like walking, being under fluorescent lights (can’t ever go into Walmart),  mowing the yard (vibrations from the motor) and riding my bike become challenging and sometimes nauseating.  I mentioned earlier that I won’t be able to finish the last part of the process that ensures a more stable result after the flip. The part where you don’t bend, look up, jump around, run or do anything else that could knock the rock lose is bound to happen with my current schedule and extra workload at home. I’ll have to wait until a later time when I can finish the process. Until then I guess I just keep flipping. For some reason that last sentence brings to mind the song Dory sang during the movie Finding Nemo. Just keep swimming swimming swimming…

BPPV has been a part of my life for over a decade, so this is nothing new, but still frustrating. But I’m not going to give up. Working out will be more difficult and uncomfortable but it’s going to happen. Nothing is stopping me!

I was going to put an educational picture of an ear here, but a picture of Dory seemed more fun.

Long Time No See

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It’s been  a little while since I’ve posted. I wish the reason was positive, but I’ve been struggling really hard with my weight and it has me depressed. I know all posts can’t be motivating, and I can’t always be inspirational, even though I try to do that for all around me.

Some weekends it feels like my brain is trying to convince me that I need to celebrate, like I’m on a vacation, and most times I give in. I will spend the week being mostly good with food, and I’ve been doing the True Beginner workouts on Dailyburn.com and LOVE them. It’s when the weekend comes that I lose it, and undo all the work I’ve done. So for instance I weighed in on Friday’s and I was 229, but then Sunday evening I checked and I was 334! That was it. I was so depressed and sad.

Determined to lose this weight I’m trying to be more serious about this. My one knee has been hurting me for a long while now, so I tried to use an all natural glucosamine herbal blend, but after four days I had to stop. My body felt like I had been beaten all over and after several days of laying low it didn’t get better. My heart was racing too. I’m finally starting to feel better after five days of not taking it, but that didn’t help my frame of mind.

Sometimes I wonder, just what was it that turned the tides for so many people who went from overweight to healthy? I’ve been on a search to find some stories. Will this knee problem of mine be my turning point? I’m so fed up with all of this losing and gaining and giving in to the numerous temptations all around me.

I always try to turn negative thoughts into something positive when I can, and with that, there was one thing that I heard recently that I’ve decided to make my mantra, in hopes of breathing some inspiration back into me. It was from the Daily Burn site during the True Beginners class. Justin, the trainer will often say, ” If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.”

I have such a trainer crush on him. He’s so motivational!




Cheeseburger Begone

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Cheeseburger, you thought you had me, but you failed!

Lunch was a struggle for me today. I’ve been given the privilege of working from home two days a week and the temptation to eat badly and go pick up something extremely bad for me was insane. I actually wrote down all the fast food places around my home and went online to view their menus, but something odd happened. I found myself looking up the nutritional values and calories. What??? Why would I do that when I’ve decided to be bad? To treat myself?

Ah and that’s one of my issues, thinking food is treating myself. That somehow gaining weight as a result of “treating myself”, is somehow a good thing. I struggled really hard-switching between going to Sonic and getting a cheeseburger, cheesy tots and a hot fudge sundae- to getting a healthy subway sandwich and going on a twenty minute walk. Wow what a wide trench of a choice to make.

I’m happy to say after much turmoil I decided on the Subway sandwich and a twenty minute one mile walk. I have to say that the sandwich made me very sad and was far from satisfying. The chicken breast had no taste at all. Actually the entire sandwich was bland. Maybe next time I’ll get all veggies and add my own chicken at home.

With that said about my lunch, I did find the walk to be very satisfying. I found myself thinking about my goals and how to achieve them and the weather was gorgeous outside. I’ve kept off the two pounds that I lost last week-usually I gain them back over the weekend with thinking that the whole weekend is a free meal-and hope to get back outside on my bicycle soon. I really need to lose eight more pounds to feel comfortable on it.

Cheeseburgers…you lost!

Thin Wisdom

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The wisdom of a healthy man is invaluable. You don’t take advice on losing weight from a fat person. I don’t remember where I read that but it stuck with me.  Kind of tough love, but true. I’ve had to catch myself a few times when trying to give advice because I still don’t have it figured out. I’m still overweight. But my boss can give it.

When it’s just me in the office, and the guys are somewhere else, my boss will sometimes strike up some small talk. I’m not good at small talking with bosses but I had always wondered how we went from being heavy to slim in eight months, so I asked. Why not? I’ll give this small talk thing a try.

He told me that he has always struggled with his weight and has a sugar addiction problem that he has to keep in check. One day – oh I can’t remember if it was his friend or brother- got him into running and he fell in love with it, and as a result, he shed a bunch of the weight the first six months. After that he started reading and learning and applied what he’d learned to his life. He gave me some pointers and one saying that I don’t think I’ll forget anytime soon which I’ll include at the end.

Food for him is a six ounce piece of meat -varied between chicken and pork- steamed vegetables and a cup of grains like brown rice or quinoa. That’s it. Simple. He also eats lots of proteins because he is now working on gaining muscle.

On getting started working out he said don’t do three or four twenty minutes workouts a week, do something every day. Do ten minutes of something you like every single day. This works to make it a habit, and if you like doing it, then you will keep doing it. Over time add more minutes to it.

My favorite thing he said was, “You can’t run away from what you eat.” This part of the conversation went on for a bit, but it came down to this; if you eat badly it WILL catch up with you no matter how much you work out.  I thought that was a pretty cool saying since his choice in workouts is running.

So there you have it. Words of wisdom from a healthy man. It was a good conversation. I may choose to engage in more small talk with my boss. It’s good advice from a man who knows.

Back To Work

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Today I was able to get back to work after being home so many days being sick. Getting up was actually easy. The steroids they are giving me makes my heart race so I’m fully of energy. So much so that it’s hard to sleep. Feels like I’m on speed. But as the day has gone on I’m worn out already, chest hurts and I’m starting to lose my voice. I’m a little frustrated with it and really want to get busy with my workouts again but can’t.

Positives are, I did bring my lunch and snacks today in my groovy lunch kit, and lunch was leftovers from my chicken quinoa bowl and I’m pleasantly surprised that it keeps well overnight. I’m hoping we can put my new spinning bike together tonight, and tomorrow morning I’m making a variation of one of the Damn Delicious trays for breakfast.

Perhaps I’m an optimist. Even though something goes wrong I try to pick out some positives from it. Oddly enough I’ve found this frustrates people around me. Not sure why, but I still do it. You never know. Your positivity might make someone’s day.

I’m happy that I’ve eaten healthy all day, haven’t eaten any sweets (another blog post lol) and even though I can’t work out, I’m on track.

Hope your day was excellent. Thank you for checking in.

Sick and Tired

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Today is April 25, 2017 and I’m sick and tired. Last week I came down with bronchitis. I was at work Monday when they had to turn on the big AC unit in our little room and by Tuesday afternoon my ears hurt and my nose was running like a river. The next morning I had no energy and felt really ill. I called in to work to let them know I wasn’t coming and made a doctor’s appointment the next day. I’ve been out of work Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and had to leave Monday because I still wasn’t well enough. I’m home today creating this blog, waiting out the fever and sickness, hoping to go back to work tomorrow. I’m frustrated because the week before, my husband and I had found an excellent website for work out videos where you answer a few questions about your fitness level and they recommend a routine for each day with a video all set up for you. We tried two of them and they were great! The videos weren’t too long, the trainer was very motivating, and they were achievable. The site is http://dailyburn.com Many of the videos out there are ridiculous. You have to be fit already to do them. So I was excited. And then I come home Tuesday sick as a dog and we had to stop doing them for now. I’m having trouble breathing, so working out isn’t going to happen until next week probably. These set backs seem to happen right when I’m getting motivated and then I lose steam. It’s so frustrating, but I’m determined not to let that happen this time. So today, instead of indulging in bad food, I decided that if I can’t work out, at least I can eat healthy. This is a salad made of chicken, spinach, quinoa, mandarin oranges and a homemade dressing with lime juice, olive oil, honey and salt and pepper. Oh and I did try the ten minute meditation video from the site. I figured that was something that I could do and I really enjoyed it. Maybe I will make it part of each day.